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May 07, 2009

Gary Randall’s Fundraising Shell Game

Posted in: Gary Randall

For months, Oregonian Gary Randall has been promoting an anti-domestic partnership referendum in Washington State, then directing his donors to give to one of his Oregon-based organizations, not to the Washington-registered political action committee (PAC) he says is already dedicated to the referendum effort.

On Monday, May 4th, Gary’s Washington operative Larry Stickney filed the promised referendum (Ref 71) calling for the repeal of the soon-to-be-signed Domestic Partnership Expansion Bill of 2009 (SB 5688).  The bill will make registered domestic partnerships fully “separate but equal” to civil marriage at the state level in Washington.

On Wednesday, May 6th I received a fundraising letter from Gary Randall on Faith & Freedom Foundation letterhead (right-click on thumbnails to view full-size image).  It was dated May 1st, but postmarked May 5th.  The letter said “We are presently waiting for the Governor to sign the bill into law.  With that done, we will file a referendum.”  It goes on to state how “Your donation is urgently needed now”, and ends with “P.S. Your contribution to Faith & Freedom Foundation is tax-deductible”.   Enclosed with the letter was a pre-printed donation envelope with the instructions “Make tax-deductible checks payable to Faith & Freedom Foundation”.  No other donation options (to give to the referendum PAC, for example) were listed anywhere in the letter or on the envelope.

This fundraising letter is just the latest in a string of unethical fundraising fake-outs Oregon Gary has perpetrated.  A more detailed timeline lies tucked below the fold…This table contains examples of instances when Gary Randall paired the promotion of the anti-SB 5688 referendum with a direct fundraising ask.  

To

Date Blog or E-mail title Randall’s Referendum text Randall’s Fundraising text Donor Directed to:
2/6/2009 Marriage – The Battlefield in the Hearing Room “There was a sense in both the House and the Senate that the homosexuals believe it is a “done deal.” I don’t agree. Senator Swecker and I, along with others of like mind, are working to defeat the Senate bill. I believe we have a shot at it. If not, we will immediately begin a referendum process that will put it before the people.” “If you have ever had a thought of standing for what is good and right, this is the time. It is impossible to estimate the damage and unintended consequences these bills, if passed, will inflict on traditional marriage and family.

Faith and Freedom is on the front line. We are able to stand each day because of your prayerful and financial support. That is needed more today than ever before.

Thank you and God bless you.

God help us.”

Online to Faith & Freedom Network
2/18/2009 Gay Activists in WA Legislature Amend Their Bill We will continue through this legislative process into and through the referendum process if necessary. We are willing to stand, take the hits and keep going if you will stand with us. We will continue through this legislative process into and through the referendum process if necessary.  Your tax-deductible donation today would help a great deal.  Thank you and God bless you. Online to Faith & Freedom Foundation
2/20/2009 A Call to Action to Preserve Marriage in Washington State If our elected officials pass these bills, we will, standing with others of like mind and heart, launch a state referendum or initiative effort. That is under discussion as I send this to you today. The monetary cost of this can be challenging to faith based organizations such as Faith and Freedom, but we believe God will provide. Therefore we march forward.

Your financial donations at this time will be very, very helpful. Click here to make an online tax-deductible donation to Faith & Freedom Foundation. Or mail a donation to:

Faith and Freedom Foundation

PO Box 399

Bellevue, WA 98009

Faith & Freedom Foundation via U.S. Mail
3/16/2009 Homosexuals Fully Invested in their Cause I don’t know if any outside money is flowing into Washington State, yet, but it certainly will. Particularly as we begin the referendum process to defend marriage.

There are some in the faith community who will not cooperate in a referendum to defend marriage. They have said they don’t think people of faith have the will to resist the efforts to redefine marriage. They don’t think we have the will to stand against the march of the gays and their agenda.

But is this not a worthy cause?

I don’t believe I am the only one who sees the worthiness of defending marriage. Although there are those among us who will not support such efforts, I believe there are many more who will.

I, for one, am willing to put myself and Faith and Freedom on the line for what I feel is not only a worthy cause, but a moral one as well.

I sincerely hope we are not weighed and found wanting in this matter.

I cannot overemphasize the urgency and the need for you to stand with us and support us over the coming months as we defend marriage in the State of Washington.

Thank you for standing with us.

God bless you.

Online to Faith & Freedom Network
4/3/2009 Faith & Freedom Network Email:  2,400 People Stood in the Rain for Marriage, Now You Can Stand With Them We are preparing to launch the most intense campaign to defend marriage in recent times—maybe ever, in the state….

Now these and other Legislators who stand for marriage, are joining with the faith-based organizations and a number of business people of like mind, to launch a campaign to defend marriage. We are deciding which would be the most effective way to get this matter to the people for a vote. That will be decided in the next few days.

I have been asked to chair the campaign, working with the leaders of a number of other groups. The coalition of organizations will be using the Faith and Freedom PAC, once the campaign begins. We are presently expanding the board to include a number of elected officials and additional leadership.

We need your financial support today. We are already incurring additional expenses in preparation….

We stood together on the steps, now even more importantly, we can and must stand together and move together.

I cannot overstate the urgency of our need for your financial support at this time.

If you can make an online donation, please do. Or, send a check to:

Faith and Freedom

Box 399

Bellevue, WA 98009

Thank you so much for standing for what is right, for now and for the next generation.

God bless you.

Online to Faith & Freedom Foundation and via U.S. Mail.  Note that he said that once a campaign was under way, they would use the Faith & Freedom PAC.
4/6/2009 Faith & Freedom Network Email: “FFN ALERT: SB 5688″ We are defining our plans to launch a state wide initiative or referendum campaign to over turn the advancement of the gay rights agenda through this bill. Please stand with us in your financial support.  The need is great. Online to Faith & Freedom Foundation
4/13/2009 Day Of Silence: Will Congress Endorse It? Thank you for your support as we expand our efforts in preparation for an initiative or referendum to defend marriage. Click here to make an online tax-deductible donation. Thank you for your support as we expand our efforts in preparation for an initiative or referendum to defend marriage. Click here to make an online tax-deductible donation. Online to Faith & Freedom Foundation
4/16/2009 Faith & Freedom Network

Email: “WA State Legislature Approves Homosexual “Marriage”"
Washington State lawmakers passed SB 5688 yesterday afternoon, thus giving the homosexual activists what they want.  Gov. Gregoire will sign it.  We will seek to overturn it by referendum. This is that kind of moment. Do you believe in homosexual marriage?  If you do not, stand with us. If you do, then watch it happen.  I do not believe a majority Washingtonians believe in homosexual marriage, nor do they want to become a national attraction for homosexuals from our states and countries.  We know we will be outspent probably 6 to 1 or more on this referendum campaign, however we are equally confident, people of faith and conservatives will do all they can do to help us.  If you regularly support Faith and Freedom, my most sincere “thank you.”Please continue.  If you do not or have not supported us recently, please do.  I cannot over state our need for your financial support today. Thank you for making that choice and stepping up with us to defend the time honored and biblically mandated institution of marriage.  Click here to make a donation to Faith & Freedom.  Thank you and God bless you. Online to Faith & Freedom Foundation
4/20/2009 Seattle Times: “Domestic Partnerships are Marriage, Apply the Word” Be assured we are responding with equal passion and conviction in preparation to file our referendum. We, however, are restraining ourselves until the bill is actually signed into law. This is the time. And this is the defining issue.

This is an issue in which people of faith and conservatives must prevail. The future of our culture hangs in the balance. The kind of state and community you will hand to your children and grandchildren is attached to this issue.

Please stand with us financially and prayerfully. Donate to Faith and Freedom Foundation.

Thank you and God bless you.

Online to Faith & Freedom Foundation
5/5/2009 Secretary of State Undermines Referendum Effort Top of post: “PAID FOR BY FAITH & FREEDOM PAC–The Washington State Secretary of State’s office undermined our press release yesterday regarding our filing a referendum to overturn SB 5688.  Here’s what happened.”

Mid-post: “We have filed the referendum. It is Referendum 71.”

We need your donation today. We are underway and expenses have started.

To give directly to the effort you should give to Faith and Freedom PAC. As you know, that donation is not tax-deductible.

You may donate here or send a check to:

Faith & Freedom PAC

Box 65

Olympia, WA 98507-0065

This will likely be the last time we address homosexual marriage in this public way. If we fail and this bill stands, homosexual couples will file a discrimination suit, claiming that there is no difference between domestic partners and marriage and that they are being discriminated against if the name marriage is with held. They will win because there is now, with the passage of this bill to law, no legal difference between D.P. and marriage.

DOMA will be declared irrelevant.

Dozens of organizations are standing together on this issue. Will you stand with us? Soon we will be asking you to help gather signatures.

Today, we are asking for your most generous donation to Faith and Freedom PAC.

Please forward this to friends and family asking them to join us.

Thank you and God bless you.

Online to Faith & Freedom PAC
5/6/2009 Michael Savage Banned from UK for “Extremism” Paid For By Faith and Freedom PAC.

Clearly the battle has begun over the referendum effort to overturn SB 5688. We are being challenged on several fronts.

Clearly the battle has begun over the referendum effort to overturn SB 5688. We are being challenged on several fronts. Some were expected—some were not. There are those predicting our failure. Many are answering the call to stand for marriage. Please help us with your donation today to Faith and Freedom PAC or mail check to Faith and Freedom PAC, Box 65, Olympia, WA 98507-0065. Online to the Faith & Freedom Donate Page, which has a confusing layout of links to the PAC and Network.

Also via U.S. Mail.

5/6/2009 Faith & Freedom Foundation letter via US mail.  Dated 5/1/2009, postmarked 5/5/2009 PM 3 L, Tacoma-Olympia WA 983. We are presently waiting for the Governor to sign the bill into law.  With that done, we will file a referendum. Your donation is urgently needed now, in that we are already spending monmey on the poll and other things in preparation to move quickly over the next few days.

I know you know your heart on this matter.  It is now in the hands of God and the heart and mind of people of faith like yourself to do what you ought to do.

God bless you,

Gary Randall

President and Chairman

P.S. Your contribution to Faith & Freedom Foundation is tax-deductible.

By U.S. Mail to Faith & Freedom Foundation via an enclosed standard campaign fundraising envelope, pre-addressed to “Faith & Freedom Network & Foundation” and printed with the directive to “Make tax-deductible checks payable to: Faith & Freedom Foundation”.
5/6/2009 Faith & Freedom Network E-mail:  Do You Agree With Ref. 71 Effort? The press is drawing attention to the fact that there are two opinions regarding Referendum 71 within the faith community. Your input is critical. a donation badge E-mail directs reader to online survey.  At survey completion, reader is presented with a very large and colorful “Donate to Faith & Freedom” donation badge.  Clicking badge takes one to the online Faith & Freedom Foundation donation page.

In between these messages pairing referendum promotion with a non-PAC fundraising ask, there were many additional times on the Faith & Freedom blog where Gary Randall stoked anticipation for the referendum.  For example, his 3/3/2009 blog post had this leader: “UPDATE: We are meeting today in Olympia to begin work on an initiative to overturn the Legislature’s new homosexual legislation, should they pass it. That will include an effort to replace certain senators and representatives in upcoming elections who were unable to vote for marriage. Details forthcoming.”

As of the morning of May 7th, Gary Randall updated the main page of the Faith & Freedom Network website with a huge, colorful clickable fundraising badge reading “REFERENDUM 71 Click here to MAKE A DONATION” (right-click thumbnails to see full-size image).  Clicking the donation badge takes you to a confusing multipurpose donation page in which the first “DONATE” button you see, the gold one, directs the donor to a PayPal page for the Faith & Freedom Network.  Below that, in a different format, is another button to click to donate to the F&F PAC.

Gary Randall and Washington state senator Dan Swecker officially amended the Faith & Freedom PAC registration form on 1/17/2009, designating its status as “On-going; not established in anticipation of any particular campaign election.”.  He has mentioned the PAC several times as being in place to receive referendum-related donations and has unambiguously directed donors to it for that purpose once, on May 5th.  However, as of the time of this blog posting, no PAC officially dedicated to Ref 71 has been registered with the Public Disclosure Commission.  The PDC updates its website hourly.

To further confuse donors, on May 5th Larry Stickney and Gary Randall sent out a joint press release formally announcing the Referendum 71 campaign.  The e-mail states that “The campaign team’s newly formed PAC and website will be announced later this week.”

If I were a donor, I’d be confused and feeling used.

And if I were Gary Randall, I would be fearing legal repercussions.  According to the Secretary of State, “[A]ny person, organization or committee which expects to receive funds or make expenditures in an effort to support or oppose and initiative or referendum must register with the [Public Disclosure] Commission and file certain financial reports.”  Gary Randall has been using the referendum to raise funds since at least February 6, 2009, but shows no signs of directing monies collected to a dedicated fund for legitimate use.


Cross-posted at Washblog.


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